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The 10% Flat Tax: Tithing and the Definition of Income

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Abstract

Developing a fair and widely accepted income definition presents one of the greatest challenges to tax reform. To arrive at a definition separate from the federal tax code, we surveyed 1200 Latter-day Saints about their practice of tithing. Tithing is similar to a flat tax with no deductions, where individuals voluntarily contribute 10% of self-defined income to the church. The results of our survey indicate that most respondents operate on a cash realization basis, which excludes savings and does not allow any deductions. Respondents' income concepts generally do not coincide with current tax laws or economists' views of comprehensive income. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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  • Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "The 10% Flat Tax: Tithing and the Definition of Income," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 120-137, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:1:p:120-137
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael R. Ransom & Gordon B. Dahl, 1999. "Does Where You Stand Depend on Where You Sit? Tithing Donations and Self-Serving Beliefs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 703-727, September.

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